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Abrams revs up Rincon crowd
Democrat gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams speaks at Macomber Park in Rincon during a 2018 campaign stop. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON -- A highly energized crowd of Stacey Abrams supporters got charged even more by the sight of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate at Macomber Park on Monday.

Abrams addressed about 200 people during a stop on her "Our Chance, Our Choice, Our Georgia" bus tour.

"We are on the cusp of victory in the state of Georgia," Abrams said to raucous cheers, "and we are there because people have shown up and showed out and shown who we really are in the state of Georgia. We are a state that believes in all of us  -- that sees all of us.

"This room looks like Georgia and it looks like America."

Before laying out her stances on issues, Abrams, facing Republican Brian Kemp in Tuesday's election, told a story from her childhood that drove her to run for governor.

"I graduated in 1991 and I was lucky enough to be the valedictorian of my high school," she said. "As a valedictorian in Georgia, you get to meet the governor of Georgia."

Abrams said she and her family were mistreated by a security guard after arriving at the Governor's Mansion via a MARTA bus to meet Gov. Zell Miller.

"... He doesn't ask us for our name," Abrams said. "He looked at us and he said,. 'This is a private event. You don't belong here.'"

Abrams said the security guard looked at her and her family with "disgust" throughout the ordeal.

"Now I was ready to believe (I didn't belong there) because I am 17 years old and this man who has power and a gun on his hip, and hate in his eyes tells me I'm not supposed to be here," Abrams said. "But my mom and dad, they are from Mississippi and they held me by my arm and said, 'We aren't going anywhere.' My parents wanted me to understand that you don't let anybody tell you who you are."

Abrams said that she eventually got to meet Miller but she remembers nothing about the encounter. All she recalls is the situation with the security guard that  ignited the fighting spirit within her that she wants to employ as Georgia's chief executive.

"... That was the day I got an education," she said. "I got the taste of who I am and what I could become. It's taken me a few years to stand in this space and to ask for this job but I am ready to get this interview over with and become the  next governor of the state of Georgia."

Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, went on to promise to be an advocate for public education, small businesses and health care for everyone. She said Republicans are "too mean and too cheap to do their job."

"I don't have to stand on rhetoric," she said. "I have a record to stand on."